Components

For long-time enthusiasts that were around during the ascent of personal computers, the Commodore Amiga remains one of the most beloved systems of all time. When it was originally released back in the mid-80’s, the Amiga could do things that no other consumer-class computer could – its graphics, sound, and multi-tasking capabilities were simply unmatched at the time. That initial sense of amazement at the Amiga’s unique capabilities is one of the reasons why the platform continues to have rabid fans some 30+ years later and why a small group of skilled enthusiasts have designed and manufactured... Read more...
Crucial recently launched a new series of solid state drives that somewhat defy convention. While a number of other recent releases feature various flavors of TLC NAND, the Crucial BX300 series we’ll be showing you here actually features 3D MLC NAND flash memory. In the current SSD landscape, MLC NAND isn’t typically used for consumer-class SSDs any longer, especially in lower-priced offerings, but Crucial is bucking the trend this time around.The Crucial BX300 series also tops out at a relatively small 480GB capacity. For an affordable boot drive, that’s still plenty of storage for most people,... Read more...
NVIDIA hit a lot of high notes with the Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080. When the Founder’s Edition launched earlier this summer, it received accolades for its excellent performance, power efficiency, and host of new features. If you’d like a refresher on what’s new in NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture and see what makes the GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition tick, we’d strongly suggest checking our launch coverage. We’ve got the full scoop laid out for you there.As HOT as the GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition is, we were eager to see what NVIDIA’s board partners would do with the GTX 1080. The GP104... Read more...
Prices for solid state drives have fallen precipitously over the past year. This is especially true when shopping 2.5-inch form factor SATA SSDs, which is where some of the best values in solid state storage are currently found. That's certainly true of Micron's Crucial brand MX200 line, two of which we have in for review here. First announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, the MX200 series debuted in three capacities -- 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB, each priced at under 50 cents per gigabyte. Crucial set the MSRPs at $140 for the 250GB model, $250 for the 500GB... Read more...
Intel's next-generation Broadwell Y (now known as the Core M processor) is set to ship on schedule for the end of the year. The company, occasionally flagged with criticism of its repeated delays and with its IDF show ramping up next week, is sharing more detail on the upcoming hardware, features and performance characteristics of its new 14nm mobile platform.  We've previously offered up a 14nm deep-dive on how Broadwell Y came to be from a design, process and manufacturing standpoint.  Today, we'll look more closely at how the new Core M processor's feature list, how it will be productized... Read more...
Back in the day (which, for you youngsters, is a scientific measurement of time reserved for anyone who used to walk to school during snowstorms, uphill, both ways), integrated audio solutions had trouble earning respect. Many enthusiasts considered a sound card an essential piece to the PC building puzzle. Depending on how far your PC gaming roots go back, you may recall fierce competition in the discrete audio space between AdLib and Sound Blaster, two heavy hitters that pretty much pioneered the category. While AdLib would eventually end up as a footnote in the history of PC audio, the Sound... Read more...
Crucial has been on a tear as of late. In the last few weeks alone, the company has released a couple of new series of solid state drives, one targeting the enthusiast segment (the M550) and the other targeting data centers (the M500DC). Today, Crucial is at it again with the launch of the brand new MX100 series. The Crucial MX100 series of solid state drives is somewhat similar to the M550 in that they both use the same Marvell controller. The MX100, however, it outfitted with more affordable 16nm NAND flash, and as such, the drives are priced more aggressively. Take a look at the full line-up... Read more...
The solid state storage market continues to be one of the hottest in the PC industry. Over the last few weeks alone, we’ve seen the release of the Intel SSD 730 and the OCZ Vertex 460 series of drives and there are still plenty more on the horizon, as many companies ready products with different capacities, form factors and connectivity options. Today is Crucial’s turn to make some noise. The long-time memory maker is launching a new line of solid state drives, dubbed the M550 series, targeted at performance-minded, but budget-conscious enthusiasts. The M550 family of drives... Read more...
Over the past few years, Corsair has steadily ramped up the number and types of computer chassis it manufacturers. The high-end 700D and 800D have been followed by a number of midrange products and one uber-expensive deluxe model, the massive 900D. The case we're reviewing today, the 750D, is meant to drop into the sub-$200 price bracket, where it faces competition from Corsair's own 650D mid-tower as well as a number of other chassis from manufacturers. Despite the name, the 750D is actually somewhat smaller than the original 700D/800D family. Those chassis were 24 inches long, 24 inches tall,... Read more...
Let's get one thing clear up front. Crysis 3's graphics are absolutely stunning.  Crytek's latest game doesn't raise the bar -- it annihilates it. At the highest settings, Crysis blows Battlefield 3 out of the water, makes mincemeat of Max Payne, and makes the original Crysis -- itself a graphics powerhouse -- look more like the first Call of Duty. Crysis 3 really is that stunning, provided that you've got the video card to handle it. Like the first game, this title is capable of bringing even a high-end card to its knees; the Radeon 7950 w/ Boost Mode that we used for testing struggled... Read more...
A few weeks back, we examined whether a new GPU like the GeForce GTX 660 could breathe new life into an older quad-core gaming system built in mid 2008.  The answer, we concluded, was definitely yes -- but many of you of you asked us to reconsider the question, this time using a dual-core Core 2 Duo. We've done so. And just for fun, we've added overclocked CPU results into the mix as well. The Q6600 we originally tested was one of the best-selling enthusiast processors of its day, but dual-core chips were very much the norm. At the time, there were only a handful of games that could even take... Read more...
New video card launches from AMD and NVIDIA are almost always reviewed on hardware less than 12 months old. That's not an arbitrary decision -- it helps reviewers make certain that GPU performance isn't held back by older CPUs and can be particularly important when evaluating the impact of new interfaces or bus designs. The downside of this policy is that it leaves a gap in product coverage. Gamers with older systems often miss out on whether or not a new graphics card will be a meaningful upgrade for aging systems. That's particularly important as the speed of the desktop replacement cycle has... Read more...
Today we're reviewing a series of mid-tower cases at a variety of affordable price points. These four cases are all marketed towards enthusiasts and ship with what were once considered upscale options, including external water cooling mounts, multiple 120mm fans, screwless installation, removable case vents, and board cutouts for third-party heatsink installation. That's great news if you're tired of seeing full towers get all the high-end love from case manufacturers, but it makes the prospect of picking a single enclosure a bit daunting. We've rounded up options from Antec, Corsair, Fractal,... Read more...
Corsair tends to be somewhat measured in their approach to certain markets and only enters them with products that are clearly differentiated from the competition. That’s true for their cases, peripherals, power supplies, and many other product lines. Corsair, however, has been relatively adventurous in regard to Solid State Drives. Over the last few years, Corsair has offered SSDs built around controllers from virtually all of the major players, including Marvell, SandForce, Indilinx, and Samsung, among others. While Corsair has been open to working with multiple controller designs,... Read more...
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